Art Fix Friday: May 6, 2016

In the U.S. “only 27% of the 590 major solo shows organized by nearly 70 institutions between 2007 and 2013 were devoted to women.” The Art Newspaper outlines how influential donors, prizes for women, and diversifying museum leadership can help rectify the gender imbalance.

Helen Molesworth, the chief curator of MOCA, says that although the art world is progressive, “that doesn’t set us apart from the larger cultural forces at play, which have for the past several hundred years promoted the idea that genius and men and power and money are all very intertwined with one another.”

Front-Page Femmes

Marisol Escobar, known in the 1960s for her wooden Pop Art sculptures, died at the age of 85.

Adriana Varejão’s hand-painted tile mural covers Rio’s 2016 Summer Olympics aquatics stadium.

Tauba Auerbach makes a large, geometric pop-up book.

Mona Hatoum’s survey includes endoscopic video of her internal organs.

Iranian cartoonist Atena Farghadani was released from prison.

A fire at German artist Rosemarie Trockel’s home damaged and destroyed more than $30 million worth of art.

Cornelia Parker installed a Hitchcock-inspired barn on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Los Angeles Times traces 89-year-old artist Betye Saar‘s oeuvre through her recent and upcoming exhibitions.

Unnerving, surreal characters in Floria González’s photographs explore the impact of motherhood on her life.

Virginia-based teen Razan Elbaba uses photography to “break the stereotypes and significantly express the true goal of Muslim women.”

Art Basel visitors will help performance artist Alison Knowles toss a giant salad before it is served.

Heather Phillipson’s three-part installation for Frieze New York involves dog sculptures, video, trampolines, pillows and more.

The Guardian shares the @52museums Instagram project—highlighting one of NMWA’s posts.

“It’s so empowering for this generation to see a black ballerina doll that has muscles,” says Misty Copeland about the new Barbie made in her likeness.

NPR describes a new album by Anohni, formerly Antony Hegarty, as “a pop album that is simultaneously an act of dissent.”

Gabriela Burkhalter’s The Playground Project explores forgotten artistic playgrounds of the 20th century.

Sweet Lamb of Heaven, by Lydia Millet, is “an extraordinary metaphysical thriller.”

The New Yorker delves into two articles written by Harper Lee about the case that brought her to Kansas with Truman Capote.

The documentary Eva Hesse, structured around excerpts from her journals, provides a psychological portrait of the artist. Watch the trailer.

Shows We Want to See

Five women artists from the Electric Machete Studios collective locked themselves in their studio for 48 hours. The resulting works reflect the “complex identities of the women as feminists and artists.” Interventions: A Xicana & Boricua Guerrilla Perspective explores the relationship between art, feminism, and indigenous identity.

Abstract work by overlooked Victorian spiritualist Georgiana Houghton will be featured in London. The Guardian writes, “Houghton would host a seance, talk to her spirit guide and draw complex, colourful and layered watercolours.”

Carmen Herrera—now 101 years old—“distills painting to its purest elements.”

—Emily Haight is the digital editorial assistant at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: February 19, 2016

NPR traces how Swiss artist Meret Oppenheim’s “Object”—or “Luncheon in Fur” as it was dubbed by André Breton—became the symbol of Dadaism.

Oppenheim’s teacup was purchased by MoMA for $50—making it the first work by a woman the museum acquired and earning Oppenheim the title of “First Lady of MoMA.” NPR writes that “the sculpture became the receptacle of all kinds of theories, fears and longings,” but the artist maintained that “all she had wanted was to take something familiar and make it strange.”

Front-Page Femmes

Linda Vallejo transforms cultural icons into “Mexican-ized figures” to highlight the lack of Mexican American stories in Hollywood.

In the early 1990s, British photographer Jo Spence used her last works to create a poetic and morbidly funny reflection on her terminal cancer.


Hyperallergic explores muses of New York City’s sculptures

Hyperallergic introduces five women who were the muses for allegorical monuments around New York City.

Brooklyn-based artist Kari Cholnoky experiments with fur, polyurethane, wigs, and sex toys in her compositions.

18th-century French portraitist Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun reached “unprecedented success” across Europe.

Harper Lee died today at age 89. The New York Times traces Lee’s life and the enduring legacy of her first novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. The book sold more than 10 million copies, won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and cast Lee into an “oppressive” public spotlight.

Atlantic writer Adrienne LaFrance analyzed her own reporting for gender bias.

Musician Annie Clark, known as St. Vincent, helps design a signature guitar for women.

Newsweek profiles Beninese songstress Angelique Kidjo, recipient of the Best World Music Album at the Grammy Awards.

artnet features 10 black artists to celebrate in 2016, including Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Tabita Rezaire, Jennifer Packer, and Nina Chanel Abney

A new documentary tells the story of Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian’s return to Tehran 25 years after her exile.

Director Lizzie Borden discusses women’s stories, grassroots efforts, and how she captured the “spirit of revolution” in her 1983 feminist film Born in Flames.

Six web series by women artists of the African diaspora tackle isolation, sex, identity, and social issues through entertaining webisodes.

Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin will be the first opera composed by a woman to be held at the Metropolitan Opera in more than a century.

The New Yorker celebrates the accomplishments of writer, composer, musician, and theatre director Liz Swados, who died on January 5, 2016.

Shows We Want to See

Rekha Rodwittiya’s artwork features “an amalgamation of Indian classical and tribal images” where unconventional female figures become “talismanic subjects.”

Environmental advocate and artist Courtney Mattison’s large-scale ceramic installations are on view at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.

Austrian artist Ulrike Muller’s solo exhibition at the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien confronts concepts of the “other” through abstraction and figuration. Artforum says the exhibition presents “modernity as an artistically and psychologically twisted state.”

—Emily Haight is the digital editorial assistant at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.